Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jedi Training Academy

Tuesday morning our group staked out a spot for the Jedi Training Academy. Four of our five kidlets got chosen. Hazel was amazingly sanguine for having been left behind. Maybe it was because she'd gotten her face painted with pixie dust and had a visit with a fairy godmother?
The Jedi instructor was my favorite part of the whole trip. Fast as an auctioneer, deadpan as anything, and his patter was absolutely hilarious.
He taught the kids a choreographed sequence with their light sabers.
Then the dark side showed up in a cloud of dry ice.
Each of the trainees got to try out their new skilz. Here Charlie gets to take a whack at Darth Vader with some coaching.
Sebastian was the first one to take on Darth Maul. He was so creepy and kept looking at the spectators with his golden eyes (Darth Maul -- not Sebi). I thought Sebi might fall to pieces, but he kept it all together.
Maddie has been training with hickory broadswords all year long in her Shakespeare class. She was ready to take on all of them.
Will looks concerned here, which is healthy. You should be concerned about fighting people with eight horns and a double-edged sword.
After the foes were vanquished, diplomas were handed out and they turned in their hoods and sabers. From our point of view as parents and cubmasters and primary choristers, this was a masterful job of kid wrangling. The performers were entertaining, professional, and they really knew how to manage their charges. You can see a segment with the same jedi and a kid like Charlie here and over here is another video where the padawan goes completely off the rails, forgets his routine and starts wailing on Darth Vader.
This was definitely one of the highlights for the whole family. I think we'd still have a quorum to go back and do it again tomorrow!

Disneyland Eve

We just got together for our Shumway family reunion. This year instead of going to our normal spot at the beach, we descended on Anaheim to do Disneyland. It has been five years since the kids' first trip.
We met grandparents at the airport [Joss's favorite attraction was the baggage carousel and one Chick Hicks car -- 30+ minutes]. We met John and Kiecoo at the hotel where I kicked the event off with a bang by knocking Sebi's front tooth out. He was getting out of the van and I thought I'd help him by flipping the seat forward. DOWN went the seat. DOWN went Sebi on top of it. OUT went the tooth. I picked it up feeling rather satisfied, because he's had a terribly loose tooth for a few weeks. But when he opened his mouth, that was NOT the missing tooth! It was still there, pushed down at a rakish angle and giving him that baby-bird-with-an-egg-tooth look. He was not too happy about losing his tooth so quickly. Thankfully Disneyland is a good distraction!
We began with just a half day to warm up:
Uncle John and kids in line
Once we arrived in the park, we headed straight for Pirates of the Caribbean. This was Rob's favorite ride. From there we headed to the Haunted Mansion which I'd prepared Sebi for well. He loved it, but Will swore he was never riding it again.
We rode Splash Mountain and the roles were reversed. And we got plenty wet despite the rain ponchos!
I was surprised at how much active parenting Disney took. I had to work hard to get Will onto the submarine ride, Maddie onto Autopia, Sebi on Splash Mountain and others. But taking them to Star Tours, I looked down the row and all three of them were sitting rapt in their seats, eyes glued to the screen and mouths open like cod fishes. As soon as it was over, Sebi said "That was AWWWWESOME!" and when I asked if he wasn't scared, he looked at me like "duh!" and said "It was Star Wars!" as if that explained it all.
Joss took off with Rob and my parents and enjoyed having three adults to dote on him.
He loved the carousel, and went out for Mexican food. His absolute favorite was The Enchanted Tiki Room. I know this is a polarizing attraction for my readership. All I can say is that you need to experience it with Joss and Emmeline -- they are as entertaining as the show!
While on the trip he learned to say "luvoo" and "ankoo". What more could you possibly ask for?!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Visionary Man

Rob: I had a dream that we were going to listen to President Obama give a speech. But before that there was reception in another room. There was a preschool class there all dressed up as different vegetables: squash and pumpkins, ears of corn and long pea pods. They all went up to President Obama and surrounded him and it was very cute -- they looked like a vegetable platter and he was the dip in the middle.
MA: Sounds like someone was reading the Seed Savers catalog last night before bed.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Bride

Rob's baby sister Betsy just got married
Bride with flowers (her niece Jessie did her hair)
Bride with train (her brother Rick took these pictures)
Bride with red converse high tops
Posted by Picasa
Bride with cape
Bride with goatee. Bride's brother-in-law feelin' pretty.

The Temple

The family.
The extended family, including folks from all over Utah, Washington, California, and Minnesota. All of Roger and Sandy's siblings came and many of the kids, too.
An ti ci pay-ay tion . . .
The happy couple
Posted by PicasaThe crowds demanded a kiss
Clan McFarland
Our dear friend Heather, who has now attended four McFarland sealings. She's pretty a hardcore fan!

The Luncheon

We had the luncheon at Highland Gardens, catered by Kelly's stepmother. It was lovely.
Cousins: Rob and Robert, Nelyana and Jade (adults are first cousins and kids are second cousins).
The bride's father and groom's mother told stories about Betsy and Kelly.
The cousins posed. I think there may be a family resemblance . . .
Family and friends pitched in to get ready for the reception (Jane, Heather, Emma and Annie here).
Kids fawned over the bride
and over the groom.
Posted by PicasaGirls twirled in their finery (Maddie, Hannah & Jessie).

The Reception

Joss has dessert with his doting auntie.
All lit up for the reception
Cutting the cake
The dance
Posted by Picasa
A grand ending to a fairy tale day.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Is There a Lighting Specialist in the House?

For the science fair this year, the kids grew lettuce with four different kinds of LED lights.
It was a great success and of interest to all in the house (Save the Polar Bears, Fluff! Use LEDs!). It will also help us if we decide to turn our hand to more lucrative hydroponic crops. Thanks, Uncle Bulk!
Posted by Picasa

Chip Thought We Should Recycle

A week ago Saturday we awoke to find this.
The kids were bowled over. Whole new worlds of possibility opened up to them.
The neighbors were aghast.

But it was a love note from Rob's students (this is his writing motto in 330). I think they're missing him.
And heaven knows that if there is any karmic justice in the world, we have a lot more of this coming our way!
Posted by Picasa